Release your work!” yelled New Orleans rapper Big Freedia on Beyoncé’s summer 2022 single “Break My Soul.” Months later, some fans have jokingly expressed regret that he took this advice to heart. On Wednesday, the superstar singer announced the dates and prices for her Renaissance World Tour. And since the July release of Beyoncé’s critically acclaimed seventh album, Renaissancecasual fans and dedicated members of BeyHive have been steeling themselves to pay the higher prices to experience the songs live.
The singer has included five UK dates, all in May, in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Sunderland, plus two London dates. But to the surprise of many, the ticket prices are not as extreme as feared. Although a front row ticket on stage will set you back £2,400, general admission is priced between £56 and £199, close to the prices of their previous UK arena gigs in 2016 and 2018. Even so, for For some viewers, shelling out so much money for a show seems absurd, especially during a cost-of-living crisis.
Many have reasoned that star musicians could bear to charge much lower fees to give their fans a chance to see them live. And in the current financial climate, cutting production costs to protect fans’ pockets would be ideal, if unlikely. But, while no one needs to advocate half a billionaire couple getting even richer, it should be noted that some shows actually make you feel like the expense was worth it.
Once you get a chance to see Beyoncé in action, all the worry about the price of admission seems unnecessary; money spent immediately feels valuable. Having seen her live seven times since 2009, I can attest to the spectacle that awaits you once you settle in for a Beyoncé headlining show. Vocals will be clear and powerful. She and her dancers will move with absolute precision. From the song list to the lighting coordination, every detail will be carefully considered and you’ll leave with the sparkling feeling you only get from being part of a capital “E.” Experience. While the price is high, so is the reward, and value for money and time should be the bare minimum that artists have to offer people who have helped their careers thrive.
Similarly, Madonna is known for her onstage extravaganza, meaning those who paid for a spot on her 2023 Celebration tour won’t be disappointed with what she has to offer. The recent Taylor Swift ticket debacle meant problems with Ticketmaster’s system prevented thousands of fans from accessing the site, causing scalpers to charge tickets as high as $22,000. But according to fans of her, that price would even be appropriate when you consider the grandeur and frequent celebrity cameos that accompany her shows. And fans may be paying £3,450 for a spot at Adele’s Las Vegas residency, but at least they get to hear a full band, raw vocals, and witness their sparkly gowns in motion for her problem.
If it’s clear where your hard-earned pounds are going, it’s easier to accept higher prices for a gig. The same can’t necessarily be said for shows that are on the more unassuming end of the glamor scale. Take Ed Sheeran, for example, whose concerts are a simpler matter. As noted in the independentAccording to the review of his headlining show in Cardiff last year (costing £75 a ticket), his band were only “allowed out for about four songs during the two-hour set.” Without the full-scale inclusion of dancers and a backing band, Sheeran and his trusty pedal looper end up being the sole focus of his concerts. To be fair, the basic personality of the “Shape of You” singer is part of his success. But a high price seems harder to justify when there are no costume changes or visual accompaniments to make his time feel truly memorable.
Everyone has the right to spend what they want on what they like. But when you give a significant chunk of your entertainment fund to a famous person who may not need it, the least they can do is make sure you’re blown away. Despite all the stress that will be felt by those trying to secure the high-demand Renaissance World Tour tickets in the coming days, fear not: your money will be put to excellent use.